UC Irvine Middle Earth Housing Expansion

About the Project

The UC Irvine Middle Earth Housing Expansion project is an expansion of the existing Middle Earth Student Housing undergraduate complex. Middle Earth provides 510 students with high-quality housing accommodations along with dining, learning and amenity spaces. The vertical design expands UC Irvine’s capacity to accommodate increasing enrollment and demand for on-campus housing, as mandated by the University of California Office of the President.


The project features two residential towers that rise above a mixed-use podium and richly landscaped base, echoing the natural form and color of the region’s limestone canyons. In the towers, communities of student suites are connected on each level by a “Link Lounge” social amenity space complete with group kitchens, media viewing and laundry facilities. Below, the two-story podium includes a 750-seat dining facility serving the entire campus population with 10,000 meals daily, amenity space for student interaction, multi-purpose classrooms and new headquarters for housing administration. The landscape rises over the first floor to create a central terrace and landform that draws residents of the Middle Earth neighborhood to and through this student life center at the gateway to the academic core of campus.

Quick Facts

  • Location Irvine, California
  • Client University of California, Irvine
  • Architect Mithun
  • Industry Education
  • Line of Business Construction
  • Delivery Method Design-Build
  • Completion Date August 2019
  • Duration 28 months
  • Contract Value $ 108,683,242
  • Sustainability LEED Platinum
  • Square Footage 214,000 SF



  • Design-Build Institute of America – National Award of Excellence – Educational Facilities
  • Design-Build Institute of America – National Award of Merit – Educational Facilities
  • Design-Build Institute of America Western Pacific Region – Design Excellence Award

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